Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Muses are Just Plain Cool!

By Rose Anderson (Guest Blogger)

Calliope is the writer’s Muse. When I decided to write books, I chose her as mine. I figured if she inspired the likes of Homer, then maybe she’d send a little mojo my way. Calliope has been pretty good to me so far. Though they’re not all at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel just yet, she’s smiled on a total of 18 published and unpublished books that fit across genres, several magazine articles, and a few non-novel professional works. After my first release, I created a blog as most authors do. It’s a virtual temple, of sorts, fit for a Muse’s amusement. I named it CalliopesWritingTablet.

Who are these women who amuse and bemuse and inspire the arts and sciences? When Uranus the god of the vast sky melded his essence with Gaia the earth and mother of all life, the Titans were born. Sometime later, Mnemosyne, the personification of memory, lay with her nephew Zeus for nine consecutive nights and the nine Muses came out of that union.
  1. Calliope
  2. Clio
  3. Erato
  4. Euterpe
  5. Melpomene
  6. Polyhymnia
  7. Terpsichore
  8. Thalia
  9. Urania
As these nine women were long considered the source of knowledge, places dedicated to learning, were dedicated to them. Hence the name Museum. As a child growing up in Chicago, a city known world-wide for its museums, I used to stare at those Greek statues standing here and there inside the Field Museum of Natural History and outside the Museum of Science and Industry and wonder. If Zeus had only nine Muse daughters, then why did the Museum of Science and Industry have far more than nine Muses holding up the roof? Needing to know, I looked into it and discovered they weren’t Muses. These muse-mimics were architectural caryatids – decorative statues of women with the sole purpose of supporting the roof-line on their heads.


The Field Museum has the real deal. The famed nine Muses of the ancient world, statues as large as their Titaness mother, look down on the main floor. I found these statues rather curious. I couldn’t imagine what they had to do with stuffed and mounted animals, mummies, and dinosaurs. Each one held something, a clue as to who she was and what she represented. While some made perfect sense to me as a child, others were confusing. Years passed before I figured it out.

Calliope - Muse of Epic Poetry - carries a writing tablet
Clio - Muse of History - carries a scroll
Erato - Muse of Love Poetry - carries a Cithara (an early guitar)
Euterpe - Muse of Music - carries a flute
Melpomene - Muse of Tragedy - carries a Tragic mask
Polyhymnia - Muse of Hymns - carries a veil
Terpsichore - Muse of Dance - carries a lyre
Thalia - Muse of Comedy - carries a Comic mask
Urania - Muse of Astronomy - carries a globe and compass

I understand now that Muses in museums symbolically represent the very best found in the many cultures depicted in the vast museum collections. They’re ambassadors of poetry, the arts and science. As I’ve mentioned above, I’ve dedicated my author’s journey to Calliope the writer’s muse. I’m not alone. For centuries writers made a habit of dedicating to the muses. I’ve found these examples:

William Shakespeare, Henry V:
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

Charles Baudelaire, The Venal Muse:
O muse of my heart, lover of palaces,
Will you bring, when January lets loose its sleet
And its black evenings without solace,
An ember to warm my violet feet?

 
John Milton, Paradise Lost:
Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing, Heavenly Muse

Homer’s Odyssey:
Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy.

Dante’s Inferno:
O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!
O memory that engraved the things I saw,
Here shall your worth be manifest to all!

Emily Dickinson Awake ye muses nine:
Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine,
Unwind the solemn twine, and tie my Valentine!

The Aeneid by Virgil:
O Muse! the causes and the crimes relate;
What goddess was provok'd, and whence her hate;
For what offense the Queen of Heav'n began
To persecute so brave, so just a man…

Mary Darby Robinson, Ode to the Muse:
While softly o'er the pearl-deck'd plain,
Cold Dian leads the sylvan train;
In mazy dance and sportive glee,
SWEET MUSE, I'll fondly turn to thee;
And thou shalt deck my couch with flow'rs,
And wing with joy my silent hours.

William Blake, To the Muses:
Whether on crystal rocks ye rove,
Beneath the bosom of the sea
Wand'ring in many a coral grove,
Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry!
How have you left the ancient love
That bards of old enjoy'd in you!
The languid strings do scarcely move!
The sound is forc'd, the notes are few!

Phillis Wheatley:
There shall thy tongue in heav'nly murmurs flows,
And there my muse with heav'nly transport glow:
No more to tell of Damon's tender sighs,
Or rising radiance of Aurora's eyes,
For nobler themes demand a nobler strain,
And purer language on th' ethereal plain.
Cease, gentle muse! the solemn gloom of night
Now seals the fair creation from my sight.

Catullus:
And so, have them for yourself, whatever kind of book it is,
and whatever sort, oh patron Muse
let it last for more than one generation, eternally.

:) I’m in good company! Calliope had a hand in every one of these:

The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo - Based upon a very real modern day sighting of the Wisconsin Wolf Man
 
What does an immortal Native American shaman do when the grave he’s sworn to watch over for all eternity disappears under urban development? His purpose of guarding his wife’s burial mound gone, Ashkewheteasu seeks to end his immortal existence. In his despair, he assumes the form of a wolf and steps in front of a moving car and into the life of Dr. Olivia “Livie” Rosalini. The veterinarian saves the animal’s life, and in the process saves the man within. Unbeknownst to Livie, the dog she’s taken into her home and grows to love is a magical being seeking to win her heart as a man. While Ash is learning a new world filled with new love, friendship, and happiness, an old menace makes plans to steal it all away; just as he had 3000 years before.  

Loving Leonardo - An unusual polyamorous Victorian love story with a touch of reader-interactive art history
 
Bound by limits dictated by society, Art Historian Nicolas Halstead lived a guarded life until a tempest in the form of Elenora Schwaab blew into his world. At first Nicolas can't decide if the audacious American is simply mad or plotting blackmail for not only does she declare knowledge of his homosexuality, she offers him a marriage proposal. After Ellie tells him of a previously unknown work of Leonardo da Vinci, a book of erotic love poems and sketches dedicated to the artist's long-time lover Salai, Nicolas joins her in a race to save the book from destruction. Along the way they encounter Historian Luca Franco and discover a comfortable compatibility that comes to redefine their long-held notions of love. The trio embarks on an adventure of sensual discovery, intrigue, and danger. Little do they know Leonardo da Vinci's book is far more than meets the eye.  

Dreamscape - A haunting, a murder, a mystery, a reader's puzzle, and a love story that transcends time

Unable to deny his own translucence, Dr. Jason Bowen determines his lack of physical substance could only mean one thing -- he's a ghost. Murdered more than a century before, Jason haunts his house and ponders the treachery that took his life. When Lanie O'Keefe arrives with plans to renovate her newly purchased Victorian mansion, Jason learns, ghost or not, he's still very much a man. Jason soon discovers he can travel through Lanie's dreams and finds himself reliving the days before his murder with Lanie by his side. It took one hundred and twenty years for love to find them, but there's that insurmountable little matter of Jason being dead.

Hermes Online - A CataNetwork Sensual Reads Reviewer's Choice Winner 2011
 
Imagine if you will a story begun in the halls of Mount Olympus long before this modern tale was conceived. It was a time when the god Hermes flew on his winged sandals and carried messages from the gods to the mortals below. And between that time and this, couriers became postmen and handwritten letters became bytes. It is said the gods still speak to those who listen... Left bruised and brokenhearted after a cruel breakup, Vivienne Bennet finds herself mired in a world of self-doubt. To her surprise, she receives an email that challenges her to rediscover the woman she once was. Together Vivienne and the enigmatic man known only as S embark upon the world of anonymous Internet communication where suggestive emails lead to erotic chat, where cybersex leads to Skype, and C2C sends both into the arms of a love they'd believed lost forever.
 

I hope you’ve enjoyed these snippets from my flights of fancy. After inspiring two more novels waiting on their covers, Calliope is currently motivating me into a new tale. For updates on new books and where she’s taking me next, stop by my blog and say hi! I just may have another ember tucked away to warm your senses.
About Rose  
Have you ever fallen so deeply in love with the characters in a romance novel that thoughts of them linger long after the last page is turned? Have you ever been so completely immersed in a love scene that you'd swear you've just been kissed or more? Meet my strong, confident heroines and compelling heroes. Come see how their lives entwine and through their stories discover love profound. From my current novels to the passionate stories that follow. I promise to sweep you away on a sensual tide of memorable story-telling.

Rose Anderson – Love Waits in Unexpected Places
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20 comments:

Lisabet Sarai said...

Greetings, Rose,

Welcome to Beyond Romance!

Your Muse has very diverse tastes and talents, I must say. All four of the books you talk about sound sensational, and the covers are lovely.

I'll be interested to see where Calliope takes you next.

Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...

Thanks and thank you for having me Lisabet. :) Calliope tends to throw high concepts at me. lol

If anyone stopping by wants to know more, I'll be stopping by throughout the day to answer any questions. You might find the impetus behind each tale to be as interesting as the stories themselves.

Ann Herrick said...

Very interesting blog! Rose, do you ever have days when you have problems contacting your muse, and, if so, how do you deal with that?

Marie Higgins said...

Hi, Rose. I have learned something new! Thank you!! This was a very interesting blog. Now I can put a name to my muse - Clio, since she is the muse of history and I love writing historical romance! Although sometimes I have her sister Thalia because I love humor, too! lol

Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...

Oh I do! When I get a case of writer's block in the middle of the story, I'll go back and reread the whole thing to find the thread that was dropped. On occasion, I'll lose my voice entirely. ( when Calliope's out to lunch.) Through trial and error, I've found reading other authors' works at that time really muddies the waters for me. Instead, I'll go read one of my older novels as a reader might. It never fails. I know when I start doing that "thing" we authors do, aka mentally rewriting the already published story, my mind is back in a creative state. There have been times when I have two or three stories running at the same time. If I lose the thread in one, I'll hop on over to another for a while. That's how my Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo shoved my work in progress out of the way for a time. Calliope said do this one NOW. Ah those Muses. Thanks for stopping by Ann.

Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...

:) Aren't they fun? The philosophic thought behind it all is fascinating -- to break down elements of man's curious drive to create and attribute that art to a handful of women. I can imagine the ancients wondering from whence their inspiration derived. Of course the gods had a hand, they dabbled in everything else in their despotic boredom. Best luck with your Muses. Thanks for stopping by.

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

Hi Rose. Interesting post. I'm not sure which muse is mine, but very shallowly I love saying the word Terpsichore. It's funny you mention you don't read other authors' works when you're stuck in your writing. I do go to other authors' books for my relaxation. It takes my mind away from being blocked.

By the way, I'm a fan of your books! ;-) Jane

Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...

:) I think you should go dancing! If Terpsichore knocks...

I'm glad you've enjoyed my books. I'm looking forward to your new one, Soldier Come Home. Thanks for stopping by, Jane.

Jerri Hines said...

Enjoyed the post. Interesting. We do all need our muses for inspiration. Reading the blurbs to your books, I believe you have been quite inspired! Great post!

Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...

Thanks Jerri. I'll say one thing for Calliope - she sure likes me to mix things up! Thanks for stopping by.

E. Ayers said...

Hi, Rose. What a fascinating post. I loved it. Not sure which muse is mine, but I suspect Polyhymnia does poke me during my writing. For under the veil of a romance, is usually another story. Never are they planned. They merely happen.

I love your writing. It's the way you tell the story. You do it with finesse. Keep writing.

Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...

Thanks for the compliment, you have some nice tales out there yourself! I've always wondered what the veil was for if Polyhymnia was the Muse of hymns. I like your take though..a veil of romance. Nice. Maybe that's it. Thanks for stopping by. :)

J.D. Faver said...

Hi Rose,
I love all your writing and salute whichever Muse you embrace. My Muse is male. He looks like Matthew McConaughey and talks to me in that deep Texas drawl. He nudges me to do the most outrageous things on virtual paper. "Oh, c'mon. You know you wanna." Yes, I do. :-)
Keep turning out high quality books, Rose. Your talent is limitless.
*hugs*
~JD

Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...

Hey thanks. You know...your Muse intrigues me. That's all I'll say. The last thing I need, when I'm in the middle of a story, is to tick off my Muse. :)

Jenny Twist said...

Great stuff! Really good reading. I never knew the word museum came from muse. Off to impress my friends!

Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...

And don't forget amuse and bemuse! Thanks for stopping by Jenny. :)

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Rose,
What an inspiring post about muses. Lots of interesting little tidbits for Juliet (my muse) to wrap her little finger around. *grin*

smiles
Steph

Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...

Glad you enjoyed it Steph. :) Thanks for stopping by!

SherryGLoag said...

What a fascinating blog post :-)

tammy ramey said...

Hi Rose,
great post! i have a website about the muses if you are interested :
www.greek-gods.info/ancient-greek-gods/muses/

it is actually about all the greek Gods/Goddesses but includes heroes,demigods,monsters and of course the muses-fates-graces etc.etc.etc.

what i found interesting was this little paragraph:"It is well known (or it should be) that there were nine Muses who played, sang, danced, and inspired others to do the same. But there are other stories as well. Before the Classical idea of the nine Muses, Pausanias tells us of three Muses, different altogether from the nine we know. They were:
Melete, or Practice
Mneme, or Memory
Aeode, or Song
These were, I suppose, the three important parts of music, but Cicero added another to the three originals named Telsiopes. It was only later, when a Macedonian named Pierus came to Thespiae (where the Muses were known and worhipped) and renamed them the names of the nine Muses we know so well today. There are different stories of how those names were chosen. Some say Pierus only did this to make himself seem wiser. Some say it was what he found out from an oracle. Some say it he got word from a Thracian who happened to know (Thracians were more religious than Macedonians, and much wiser too). Many said that Pierus had nine daughters with the same names as the Muses and that the so-called children of the Muses were actually the children of Pierus' daughters. A poet named Mimnermus said there were two types of Muses, there were the old ones, the daughters of Uranus (the Heavens), and young ones (daughters of Zeus). Near the temple of the Muses is a portrait of their nurse, Eupheme.

Hi Rose,
great post! i have a website about the muses if you are interested :
www.greek-gods.info/ancient-greek-gods/muses/

it is actually about all the greek Gods/Goddesses but includes heroes,demigods,monsters and of course the muses-fates-graces etc.etc.etc.

what i found interesting was this little paragraph:"It is well known (or it should be) that there were nine Muses who played, sang, danced, and inspired others to do the same. But there are other stories as well. Before the Classical idea of the nine Muses, Pausanias tells us of three Muses, different altogether from the nine we know. They were:
Melete, or Practice
Mneme, or Memory
Aeode, or Song
These were, I suppose, the three important parts of music, but Cicero added another to the three originals named Telsiopes. It was only later, when a Macedonian named Pierus came to Thespiae (where the Muses were known and worhipped) and renamed them the names of the nine Muses we know so well today. There are different stories of how those names were chosen. Some say Pierus only did this to make himself seem wiser. Some say it was what he found out from an oracle. Some say it he got word from a Thracian who happened to know (Thracians were more religious than Macedonians, and much wiser too). Many said that Pierus had nine daughters with the same names as the Muses and that the so-called children of the Muses were actually the children of Pierus' daughters. A poet named Mimnermus said there were two types of Muses, there were the old ones, the daughters of Uranus (the Heavens), and young ones (daughters of Zeus). Near the temple of the Muses is a portrait of their nurse, Eupheme.
Source(s):www.paleothea.com/SortaSingles/Mu… and Peacee_by 's post at yahoo.answers,com
tammy r.
tammy r.

Source(s):www.paleothea.com/SortaSingles/Mu… and Peacee_by 's post at yahoo.answers,com

tammy r.

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